David Chesworth

Indefinite Objects is the name of a series of proto-video artworks I made using the EMS Spectre Video Synthesizer. The EMS Spectre was an early video synthesizer that allowed internal digital visual forms to be selected on a screen and manipulated and given motion by applying voltages via a patch bay. This principle is like that of a voltage controlled synthesizer that also often used a patch bay. Using the Spectre, very elementary visual forms such as circles, squares, lines and triangles could be selected, layered up and manipulated in ways that could totally transform the original forms into new complex colourised shapes.

I wasn’t interested in creating the drifty, colourised complexity that other users were doing; I was more interested in retaining the original shapes as representative of choices already made by the Spectre’s designers, and using these shapes in elementary animations. I was able to feed in external voltages from an audio synthesizer and use the same voltage to control both audio and video and map certain sound ideas into the visual realm.

Around this period, I was taking existing modernist visual and musical forms as subject matter and locking them into banal loops and repetitions and creating redundant proto-narratives. Indefinite Objects #2 employs moving pitches (glissandi) to create an ambiguity between music and sound as they help to animate the image.

At the time, I showed these works at occasional venues and galleries around Melbourne, most notably the Clifton Hill Community Music Centre, a venue for experimental music, film and performance.